Category Archives: Energy

Opposing Trump’s Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

By Roy L Hales

A week has passed since Donald John Trump announced “the official approval of the presidential permit for the Keystone X L pipeline.” Disregarding opposition from local communities, Native Americans and environmentalists, Trump said “TransCanada will finally be allowed to complete this long over-due project with efficiency and with speed.” today a coalition of environmental groups opposing Trump’s Keystone XL pipeline decision responded by filing a lawsuit against the United States department of State.
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Trump’s Rollback of America’s Energy Infrastructure Takes A Giant Leap Today

By Roy L Hales

America’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees the development of approximately 570 million acres where there are coal deposits. Less than 1% of that is currently under development.1 That is about to change. President Donald Trump’s rollback of America’s energy infrastructure takes a giant leap today.

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  1. FEDERAL COAL PROGRAM, Programatic Environmental Impact Statement – Scoping Report, Bureau of Land Management, January 2017, p Es-1

Approving The Keystone XL Pipeline Is About Our Future

By Roy L Hales

Alberta’s oil industry won a symbolic victory. President Trump calls his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline “a great day for jobs and energy independence” in the United States. Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) admits the industry is not using its’ current pipeline capacity1 and adding more pipelines is “not consistent with the Paris Accord’s commitment to keep (Global) warming to two degrees Celsius, or its aspirational goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”2 Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline is about our future on a planet where the scale and pace of extreme weather events is increasing.

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  1. Canadian crude oil export pipelines are utilized at 85 to 90 per cent of their capacity … based on respective historical utilization rates.” – Canada’s Energy Future 2016, National Energy Board, p 92
  2.  Ibid, p 115

Why Do the Liberals Push Site C?

By Roy L Hales

According to a recent report from the University of British Columbia, “Site C has more significant adverse environmental effects than any project ever reviewed under the history of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, including impacts on dozens of species, aquatics, vegetation, wildlife, Aboriginal use of lands and resources, and cultural heritage.” The British Columbian and Canadian governments are most likely breaking treaty #8, which gave local first nations usage of the land that will be submerged. BC Hydro has not properly evaluated less destructive, and far less expensive, alternatives like geothermal energy.  We won’t need the power for decades, if ever. Yet retiring Energy Minister Bill Bennett says “Site C is probably the most important thing” he has been associated with and Premier Christy Clark vows to push this project beyond the point where a future government could reverse her decision. Why do the Liberals push Site C?

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Forcing Scott Pruitt To Protect Salmon from Climate Change

By Roy L Hales

Though Scott Pruitt’s antiquated beliefs on climate change are no secret, the recent disclosure of 7,500 emails shows how closely the former Oklahoma Attorney General used his position to further them. According to Amy Attwood, endangered species legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, “No right-wing cause seemed to be off-limits to Pruitt’s public office as he focused on weakening protections for the climate and endangered species.” He is about to get another chance. Columbia Riverkeeper, Snake River Waterkeeper, Idaho Rivers United, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, and the Institute for Fisheries Resources have filed a suit forcing Scott Pruitt to protect salmon from climate change.

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The World’s Largest Lithium Ion Energy Storage Facility

By Roy L Hales

As their name suggests, San Diego Gas & Electric’s #1 energy source is natural gas. They obtained 54% of their electricity from gas burning plants in 2015. Yet they also operate in a state which intends to produce 33% of its’ electricity from renewables by 2020. SDG&E has already exceeded that target, using renewables like solar,  wind and hydro to provide 35% of their supply. Now, in compliance with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) guidelines, SDG&E unveiled the World’s largest lithium ion energy storage facility.

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Two Areas Where Silicon Joule Lead Batteries Outperform Lithium

By Roy L Hales

Gridtential raised another $6M in investments.  These funds will be used to target what CEO Chris Beekhuis described as the inevitable shift from 12V to 48V high-voltage systems in hybrid electric vehicles. Gridtential’s Silicon Joule battery uses an advanced lead-acid design with a silicon substrate for higher energy density, longer cycle life and deeper depth-of-discharge. He described two areas where Silicon Joule lead batteries outperform lithium.

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Oregon Introduced Legislation Protecting Communities Against Oil-By-Rail Spills

By Roy L Hales

Though both Washington and California call for rail companies to submit oil spill contingency plans, this is not yet a requirement in Oregon. Legislation was introduced in 2015, but the railway industry successfully lobbied against it. This could be changing. On Tuesday January 3, 2016,  Oregon introduced legislation protecting communities against oil-by-rail spills.

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Bringing Solar Energy To Unreached Parts Of Mexico

“Can you imagine spending an entire day without electricity? Can you imagine the desperation you would feel? Can you imagine not being able to use the Internet, your cell phone, your appliances, or your lights? Now imagine living without electricity every day of your life and relying on candles for light. In Mexico there are millions of people for whom this is not an imaginary situation, it is the reality of their daily life.” – Vitaluz

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Yusef Jacobs discovered the need during his fourth semester at university. People in the poor communities he visited either did not have electricity, or were paying more than he did for his house. This seemed like a great social injustice. He designed the prototype  of what has become the Vitaluz battery/control system from a box of cookies. Now, with the help of David Perlo from Gifted Citizen  and former law student Eduardo Calderón he is bringing solar energy to unreached parts of Mexico.

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Little Guys Can Prevail Over Big Corporations

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Anti-wind activist Kevon Martis just sent an update about SB 438,  the bill that requiring Michigan to obtain 15% of its’ electricity from renewable sources. Martis’ initial response was discouragement. Then someone drew his attention to a clause in the final draft of that legislation that allows townships and counties to retain control over zoning for wind energy. Martis was reminded  that little guys can prevail over big corporations – but it takes a lot of work.

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